To maintain the delicate flavor of a newly caught freshwater or saltwater fish, this must be handled properly to avoid spoilage. Not to mention preserving the fish with a pleasing odor. There are ways to properly prepare and maintain the quality just after the catch of the fish into a sumptuous fish meal. Check out the tips below:
1) As soon as the fish lands avoid any contact with hard surfaces to prevent bruising. It should be washed immediately by hosing or bucket rinsing in order to remove the slime and possible bacteria that cause spoilage. Never use water from close proximity marinas, municipal or industrial discharges. To make sure, always use potable water instead.
2) Simply chill the fish to prevent deterioration in less than an hour. With a little advance planning, proper icing can be accomplished with the use of some relatively cheap equipment. Fish should be stored in coolers and should be well chilled. It should be 3″ deep, thus, covering a pound of fish with a pound of ice. Use chlorinated water per quart of water for the final rinsing.
3) Clean the fish as soon as possible. Their tissues are sterile but not their scales, which contain many types of bacteria. When cleaning fish, avoid rough treatment because wounds in the flesh can allow the spread of bacteria. Gutting the fish does not have to be necessarily long. It is wise to cut the belly, as it leaves no blood or viscera in the body. Make sure not to soak cleaned fish fillets in prolonged freshwater as this could reduce the meat texture and flavor.
4) The eating quality and nutritional value of fish can be maintained for up to 5 days if properly cleaned. Washing the hands before touching the fish is also important. No matter what fish and the cooking technique used, one golden rule is to be followed always. Whether it is whole or not, cook exactly 10 minutes for every inch measured. 15 minutes should be allotted to fish enclosed in foil or sauce baked. Double the time for frozen fish.
Allow extra time if fish will be baked while packed in an aluminum foil and allow extra time for the penetration of the heat. That should be an additional 5 minutes for fresh fish and 10 for frozen. In thawing frozen fish, slowly thaw in the fridge for 24 hours or let the wrapped fish be run under cold water, not at room temperature. Do not thaw a fish that’s frozen before cooking as it may make it mushy and dry.